Everybody loves the daring and intrigue surrounding spies and George Blake, born in the Netherlands in 1922, started his brilliant spy career in the middle of World War II. It was in 1950 that he was sent as a British agent to Seoul and was captured there by North Korean troops. He was held captive for 3 years. George Blake began his spying career during World War II. In 1950, he was sent to Seoul as a British agent but was soon captured by North Korean troops and held captive for three years. This mastermind spy became a communist, switching sides and betraying scores of British agents to the KGB, claiming to be doing God’s work on earth He was released in 1953, returning to Britain as a hero and as a double agent.
He gave details of over 40 MI6 agents to the Soviets such as Hans Mohring and Bernd-Rainer Barth, a German historian. In 1961, his espionage activities got him 42 years in prison. He escaped however, fleeing to Moscow where he lives. It is believed he has handed over thousands of top-secret documents to Moscow. Aged 92, and regarded as a hero by Putin, the findings of his spy activities are now presented in a film called ‘Masterspy of Moscow’.
Continuing from where I left last time, I will showcase some more talented spies in this post.
Known famously as “Artemis”, Virginia was the most sought after spy during World War II. She was instrumental in keeping together the French Underground operation. She supplied vital information to the allied which eventually helped in winning the war. She later became an integral part of CIA. Sometimes referred to as “Limping lady” by the germans, she had one leg amputated from knee. This did not stop her from doing her work proficiently. In fact she was one of the few who evaded Gestapo arrest and continued working.
James Armistead Lafayette
A African-american slave but a spy to the core. James was allowed by his master to spy on Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. He passed vital information which helped the Americans to win at Yorktown against the British. The American revolution and the confederate forces owe a lot to this man. Later Lincoln was able to pass the 13th amendment to abolish slavery, realizing the unspoken dream of James. The above bust was made by UGA faculty member Kinzey Branham to commemorate to honor American patriots.
Yes he was responsible for the phrase “Casanova”. very popular with women but a spy against Venice for the Church. He also wrote a famous book ” The story of my Life” on which many hollywood flicks are made. He was exiled from Venice in 1782 and lived rest of his life as a librarian in Chateaux of Dux in Bohemia.
Spies have always been enigma for the common people. But they are normal people fighting for survival as we do. Their images outgrow the human beings they are. We will try to understand the Psyche of some spies who were famous. Just a brief one.
Mata Hari, The German spy
The most famous spy of all time, and a woman? Yes folks it is not someone like James Bond who is the most famous spy. It is a woman who worked as a prostitute in Paris and spied for the Germans during World War I. Being a Dutch national helped her enter enemy territory as Netherlands was a neutral country during the War. She was a woman fighting for survival since she was an orphan. No one ever saw this angle of her life. She almost bought victory for Germany during the war. If she was not captured in January 1917 and executed, the information she was giving could have ended the war much earlier. Her code name was H-12 and her execution led to a major intelligence failure for Germany ultimately resulting in defeat.
The Rosenberg, Spies from the Soviet Union
The Rosenberg couple were one of the most famous spies living in America. Julius Rosenberg was a KGB agent who used to pass on Nuclear weapon secret to the Soviets during the Cold War. The famous shooting of U-2 was allegedly engineered by Julius Rosenberg. The couple were caught in 1951 and a long battle in the court room ended in their execution in 1953. Ethel Rosenberg’s involvement in the spying activities was not confirmed but the court ruled against her. The only Americans to be executed as spies made them famous. Let us look into their lives a little. They were victims of Capitalization in their childhood and natural enemies of Capitalism. SO, what they did was natural.
That was some information on famous spies. More is coming in the next edition.
Do you remember the Gulf War where we saw US and UK pounding Saddam Hussein. Little do we know that the decision of US and UK to attack was based on information from 2 spies. They got a wrong information and that cost a war which took many lives. The spy with a code name of “Curveball” informed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which included chemical weapons and Nuclear weapons.
If it was true then indeed it was a dangerous situation. US and UK could not take chances, and employed their secret agencies the CIA and MI6. But they came up with the same result. The main information which brought this war was about chemical, biological and nuclear weapons which were mobile, and could be sold to the terrorist organizations. The dictator Saddam called a secret meeting with CIA and MI6 to dispel the rumors but by then damage has been done. So who was this “Curveball” and why did the US and UK believe him. It is very simple if you look from a spy eye. The US and UK were very afraid of the terrorist organizations and were being attacked. If these organizations got hold of any weapons of mass destruction, then that would be very dangerous. This is the main reason for even their spy agencies believing the spy. It is a common proverb ” You see what you believe”. The other end of the story is who was this man Curveball? Well let me give you an insight. Curveball is now in Europe an unknown location protected by CIA and MI6. He was the elder brother of Saddam. Shocked are you? Yes folks it was another story of family feud for the crown.